I hadn't fully recovered from the stimulus at The Metropolitan Museum of Art the day before this visit to the Museum of Modern Art. Thank goodness it's a much smaller museum although this in no way diminishes the number of jewels they have in their collections. The Starry Night lives here!
|THE STARRY NIGHT 1889 painting about the town of Saint Remy as Vincent envisioned it from his room at the asylum|
With a major Van Gogh exhibition on in Ottawa, Canada, I went to NYC wondering if Starry Night was going to be on loan there at The National Gallery. I was so relieved and excited that it was at home. A crowd gathers around the almost-invisible-glass covered painting which has it's own personal guard to monitor that you keep your distance. They must have sensed my total reverence for this painting because the crowd parted for me and I came within inches without getting my knuckles wrapped.
|THE OLIVE TREES at Saint Remy 1889|
It pleased me greatly to see the painting above as well for I have stood on the site that affords this view of the mountain with the twin holes, also seen from the grounds of the asylum at Saint Remy.
|THREE MUSICIANS just of the 1000 pieces by Picasso at MoMA|
We waited a long time for someone, anyone, to stop in front of the painting below. Call me an unenlightened boar but I refer to it as a painting about nothing. The didactic panel read "... he reduced his painting to the strict minimum: the square format and the colour white ... permutated and varied these constants by manipulating scale and texture ... all sorts of media were applied to a variety of supports so that the results were always different". Well, I'm sorry, it didn't impress me much.
|TWIN 1966 oil by Robert Ryman|
This, on the other hand, excited me ...
|I STILL USE BRUSHES paint brushes embedded in plastic in an acrylic box by (80" square) Arman (1969)|
The panel describing the painting below listed wonderful, amazing ingredients ... gouache, metallic paint, tinted lacquer, metal foil, celluloid, fiberglass, glass beads, metal objects, cut and pasted painted paper, gesso and cloth (all on paperboard). Sure sounds like mixed media to me!
|PORTRAIT OF BERNICE ABBOTT c. 1922-26 by Baroness Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhaven|
We visited one other haven of art in NYC. At his death, the Pittsburgh coke and steel industrialist, Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) bequeathed his New York residence and the most outstanding of his many art works to establish a public gallery.
They aren't kidding when they say "The Frick Collection includes some of the best-known paintings by the greatest European artists, major works of sculpture (among them one of the finest groups of small bronzes in the world), superb eighteenth-century French furniture and porcelains, Limoges enamels, Oriental rugs, and other works of remarkable quality".
You may think so, but I am not naming all the artists represented; we saw significent works by Constable, Carot, Degas, Gainsborough, El Greco, Hals, Holbein, Ingres, Lawrence, Manet, Millet, Rembrandt, Reynolds, Rubens, Titan, Turner, Van Dyck, Velazquez, Vermeer and Whistler.
Unfortunately photography is prohibited, so I bought the book!